Thursday, 9 June 2016


*TL/DR version*: Subcurrencies, whether as stores of value or as appcoins used to access the dApp's features, are becoming a large part of the cryptocurrency ecosphere, and pushing this technology through the SOILnet will be one of the biggest advantages towards seeing SOILcoin begin to function within the industries we have set out to serve.

With our release of SOIL-ex, we have created the first step towards what will hopefuly be a thriving subcurrency market on top of the SOILcoin blockchain. These tokens can be listed and traded using the SOILex platform, and truly, the only limitation is one's imagination. Subcurrencies, or tokens, are currencies that reside as smart contracts on the programmatic blockchain, and can act as value stores in many different ways, much as the Ethereum Frontier guide began to explore upon our mother currency's launch: "coins, loyalty points, gold certificates, IOUs, in game items". This is by no means the limit to how token contracts can be utilized on the EVM.

Useage as "shares" in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations is a very simple scenario that has already begun to show much promise, as outlined below regarding the DGD token. They can represent a Proof of Ownership in an asset of any sort, which is transferable. Subcurrencies can have have a fixed initial distribution, or be scripted to allow mining or Proof of Stake mechanisms to control distribution. Accounting contracts can control the minting and burning of assets to create two-way pegs towards other existing altcoins, or to provide an auditable real-asset backed token, such as the DGX token described below. Subcurrencies can be used as a crowdfunding mechanism, such as with the FarmShare project, or with the SOILcoin "Carbon Footprint Offset Program" using SEEDLINGS. 

Subcurrencies are, through smart contract design, able to emulate and represent the functions and capabilities of many other special-purpose blockchains and altcoins, with the advantage of having this new subcurrency, now paired up against the base currency SOIL, immediately protocol-compatible with other SOILnet resident subcurrencies, enabling contracts to be written connecting value or function between multiple subcurrencies. Currency balances reside alongside the parent-network wallet address, and are quickly interactive within the SOILcoin ecosystem thru the Dust wallet. Currency security is provided by the consesus mining of SOILcoin, and EVM-resident tokens using the subcurrency standard have an automatic compatibility with all contracts on the blockchain, allowing the tokens to interoperate on a transparent global machine.  

Subcurrencies residing on top of the SOILnet can also act essentially the same way as traditional altcoins do, and may eventually serve to replace a large number of special-purpose altcoins whose functions can be run through smart contracts. Where Ethereum is a "big player" on today's cryptocurrency ecosystem, SOILcoin has remained under the radar. We created SOILcoin to work for the planet, really. To harness the potential of the global virtual machine, and turn it towards making the world a more viable place, through smart contracts dedicated to our four pillars: renewable energy, precision agriculture and knowledge bases, scientific computational needs, and environmental awareness, education and implementation. I would like to see other special-purpose currencies redeploy onto the SOILcoin blockchain, much like the Destiny (DES) altcoin has made their scrypt-based asset a resident currency on the Expanse blockchain, while maintaining its presence as a tradable asset on exchanges. 

The use of subcurrencies that are native to a dApp, generally used crowdfunding these projects, has been termed "Appcoins". These are seen in the examples above regarding DGD, DGX and REP. Many others are cropping up, and while there's some in the cryptocurrency world that see the rise of Appcoins as being the mechanism to unseat BTC, articles on tend to spread as much FUD as possible regarding their use. (I personally take their comments with a bucketful of salt as its fairly obvious that the authors have a stake in BTC and will do whatever is necessary to push competition out of the way.)

An article written by the developers at ConsenSys called "A token powered future" [] gives some great examples of how subcurrencies are important to our future, and i highly recommend reading it. Before I start on about the potentials for token-reliant dApps on SOILcoin, Id like to give a bit of a rundown on some of the projects that exist already, how theyve siezed upon the use of subcurrencies.
Augur has been one of the most anticipated dApps that will be running on the Ethereum network. It is a "decentralized prediction market" where users bet, using ETH, on the outcome of events. Odds are generated based upon whether one is voting with the consensus or not, and payouts are generated based upon the results, which are verified using "crowdsourced reporting" by "oracles" who are holders of "Reputation tokens". REP is the Ethereum-resident subcurrency for Augur. While end-users wager on the result of a event, REP holders are responsible to act as the reporters on the outcome of these events, receiving a pro-rated portion of the system’s trading fees as reward. The more REP a user has, the more value or trust is assigned to that person’s input, and the larger financial incentive is provided to them. People who report truthfully on event outcomes earn REP tokens and are also awarded a portion of the winnings. People who report against the consensus (untruthfully) lose REP tokens and earn nothing. REP holders that do not remain active as oracles will see their REP balances penalized and redistributed to active oracles. 

All 11,000,000 REP tokens were made available in a crowdsale, and while Augur remains in beta testing, a token of the token, for arguments sake, is available in trade at Gatecoin. When Augur goes live, these will redeemable for the REP tokens that take part in the outcome reporting process. They have a present value of $7.17 each, giving this token a market cap in the neighbourhood of $80 million USD. Present volume daily in trades is averaging 15BTC/24 hours (about $7000 USD). There has been a lot of speculation to the value of REP, but the market seems to be that most holders of REP are holding on to their balances.

DGX is a "gold-backed" subcurrency for the project. Each token is pegged to the value of 1 gram of gold, and is divisible to 0.001grams. This is done so using a Proof of Asset Process. Physical gold represented by the tokens is stored in custodial vaults, and represented on the blockchain by a Proof of Asset card, which contains information about that particular gold asset including serial number, chain of custody digital signaures from the vendor, custodian and auditors, purchase receipts, audit documentation, etc. This information is kept on IPFS (InterPlanetary File Storage) and accessed thru contract calls. 

The DGX token itself is minted via a smart contract, which accepts the PoA card for DGX tokens. The contracts check the gold asset Registry, to verify the ownership of the PoA card, sending new tokens to an accounting contract with this information regarding the underlying asset certificate. This contract credits the owner into the gold token ledger and issues the DGX tokens to the owner. These DGX tokens can again be "recast" into a Proof of Asset digital certificate, which in turn can be redeemed for the physical gold itself.  

Digix has also recently issued the DigixDAO (DGD) token. $5.5 million USD was raised in a crowdsale for 2 million DGD in 14 hours. DGD has been made available for trade on Gatecoin, Open Ledger and Yunbi. The current value for DGD sits at $13.33, and maintains a market cap of $26.5 million USD (or 58,000 BTC). 

Each DGD gives its holder a "share" in the DigixDAO project, as well as a quarterly "dividend", which is prorated from the transaction fees generated by the gold-backed DGX tokens. (Each DGD token will receive 1/2,000,000 of tx-fees). These 2 million tokens represent the current lifetime supply of DGD, but the project also has coded into its contracts, an automatic "crowdsale project proposal" which is submitted to current DGD holders, for a new round of crowdsale funded DGD issuance every 2 years which may increase the lifetime supply. This is put in place to ensure the sustainability of DigixDAO if more funds are needed. These additional mintings will only occur with majority consensus since it involves token dilution. Current shareholders would be eligible to purchase newly issued tokens prior to public releasing.

Storjcoin X (SJCX) is the appcoin for the project. Storj aims to create a cloud storage platform with no censorship or monitoring. Files are encrypted client-side on users’ computers before they are uploaded. Each file is then split up into chunks which are encrypted and then distributed for storage across the Storj network. Users remain anonymous, and participants renting out their hard-drive space do not know what files they are hosting, nor will they be able to access them. Storj users earn SJCX by renting out their unused hard-drive space, and those who utilize the service pay out rental fees, which are used to pay the drive-holders.

500 million SJCX were minted, of which nearly 50 million are presently available. Traded at Poloniex and Bittrex, presently at $0.0556 USD with daily volumes averaging 12 BTC/day, SJCX has a market cap of $2,755,000 USD. Costs for rental space on the network are $0.015 USD/GB per month, and bandwidth usage costs $0.05 USD per GB. 

Destiny (DES) is an interesting case. DES started out as a scrypt-based currency with a short PoW period. The developers stated that their goal was to create a "zerocash", a system that would further anonymize transactions by encrypting the origin, destination and amount in a transaction from public knowledge. The developers achieved the switchover to EXP via a swap mechanism, where 1 "scrypt" DES was valued at 10 "EXP-resident" DES, with original assets sent to a burn address after the swap. 

The DES team followed the subcurrency standard, and released 1.6 million DES via the swap. A total of 2.1 million DES was minted when the EXP contract was deployed. DES now works similarily to a savings account, paying out interest based on the deposit size. Contract wallet accounts with >50,000 DES will recieve what amounts to a 20% per annum interest rate, while shareholders with less than 50,000 DES will receive 12%. Both the "burn" and "interest" functions are built into the DES token contract, although I havent been able to figure out the schedule for interest payments to be deposited into contract wallets. 

I think that the DES project's idea was innovative and bears looking into. Following the forum discussions regarding this asset on teh bitcointalk forum, it seems as though it now has a fairly angry community and prices have fallen precipitously, with the developer having seemingly disappeared. The currency which held a valuation of $0.56 USD before the swap onto the EXP blockchain in late March 2016, and a total market-cap of nearly $75,000 USD. It presently holds a value of $0.0122 USD, with a market cap just south of $20,000 USD. 

Use cases for tokens on the EVM are numerous, and go beyond the ideas presented above with the Augur, Digix and Destiny projects. Would these projects work on SOIL? A prediction market similar to Augurcould be utilized related to climate change or as an agricultural prediction market. In 2008 a project called Farmetrics allowed users to submit predictions for local planted acreage, yield and harvested acreage; participants earning Reward Ponits that could be redeemed on an online catalog. Participants were also allowed to donate their Reward Points to charitable foundations. It doesnt seem as though this project lasted very long, nor am I able to find out the metrics of participation, but the project seemed very popular at the time. 

Similarly, BOINC-related distributed computational science altcoins such as CureCoin or GridCoin could be built onto the SOILnet with little problems. These currencies use participant computer power to "fold" protien simulations for medical research or donate use of ones CPU and GPU power to make advancements in Earth sciences, Mathemetics, Physics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence. FoldingCoin, which can be merge-mined with CureCoin, also falls into this category. I have begun looking into setting up a Distributed Scientific Computing token tied to which also runs the BOINC platform. (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing). 

Projects such as Zerocash, which is working to offer total payment confidentiality, by automatically hiding the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Zcash is planning a release for September 2016, using "zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge” (zk-SNARK) privacy , a new memory-oriented PoW algorithm called Equihash, and an API. While end-use cases for fully anonymous transactions might not seem to fit the SOILcoin mission statement and desire for absolute transparency, this technology may become one of the most important and disruptive applications of blockchain mechanics. Beyond this, there is also the possibility for something similar to TorCoin, which would monetize anonymous web browsing. 

Like them or hate them, appcoins, subcurrencies and tokens are going to be a huge part of cryptocurrency going forward. They enrich the dApps that issue them, and provide a new source of crowdfunding that goes beyond venture capital or angel investors. SOILcoin has always been a currency that stands on its own two feet, and while we are working hard at implementing differing applications towards providing service to our core industrial targets, we have not delved into any crowdfunding or initial property offerings. All development has been done using our own time as the commodity. Many cryptocurrencies work to enrich the developers, and I think thats where SOILcoin's strength comes in, in that we aren't in this for sole monetary gain (we take no wage from this, and this remains true even while i live well below the poverty line). We built SOIL as a humanitarian currency, something philanthropic, so I hope that this article might incentivize some of you to build those dApps, issue you Appcoins and Subcurrencies and make a profit while making this world a better place. 

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